Fortis Investments, which manages $1.2 billion of equities in Asia, is relocating out of Shanghai to Hong Kong. Mark te Riele, who has been running the firmÆs smaller office in Jakarta, is moving to Hong Kong to run the regional business. Ronald Chan, who has run the equities investment team, will also relocate from Shanghai.

Te Riele's position in Jakarta has been filled with the promotion of Vivian Secakusuma, who will be responsible for marketing in Indonesia, while Tino Moorrees moves across from Fortis Investments in the Netherlands to head up the sales operation.

The business move from Shanghai to Hong Kong reflects a desire to expand Fortis' asset-management business beyond the regionÆs emerging markets and go after the big, established ones.

ôUp to now our Asian strategy has been focused on less developed markets such as Indonesia and China,ö te Riele says. ôWe feel that demand for global products in developed markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan is showing very strong growth.ö

Another important factor for the move is to give the investment team better access to brokersÆ information, which it has found difficult to obtain in mainland China. Third, it can register its L Fund range of unit trusts and market it to regional retail investors.

The move has no affect on Fortis Haitong Fund Management, the firmÆs joint-venture fund management company in Shanghai run by Tian Ren-can.

Fortis is looking to increase its new Hong Kong sales team, which now has three members, with two further appointments. The companyÆs business is split between institutional clients, including central banks, insurance and pension companies; and private banks, which are extensions of Belgium-based FortisÆ European relationships.

Fortis sees its strengths as European and emerging-market fixed interest, convertibles and Chinese equities. Its Shanghai JV has played an important role in building the teamÆs knowledge of China capital markets.

Its most recent launch is a B Share fund. ôAlthough there is less liquidity [in the B-share market], there is a huge valuation gap between it and the A-share universe,ö says te Riele.

Te Riele also sees increasing demand for specialist fixed-income mandates, adding: ôIn the past institutions tended to go for global mandates but now they are seen to be aiming for total returns and splitting the mandates up into separate geographical portfolios.ö